One Sleep ’til the Windows Arrive: The joys of owner building

August 2, 2009 – 9:52 pm
The Guest Bedroom, August 2009


We’ve been living in our shed for three and a half years. House under construction for two and a half”¦

 

And on Friday the windows arrived for the guest bedroom in our house-under-construction project. It has walls, doors, a roof, a floor and almost windows.

 

Tomorrow morning at 9 am Ken is coming to help Karl install them.

 

I’ve been reflecting about how much this means to me. It’s so marvellous here these sparking winter days.

 

It’s absolutely freezing at night as we huddle around a fire on the deck in our Mexican chiminea. Then it’s up to 30 during the day.

 

Many blessings

 

I’m blessed to be living in a rural paradise, awakened by the raucous laughter of a dozen kookaburras in a nearby tree.

 

Spending late winter afternoons watching a family of five wallabies relaxing and eating the new grass shoots on the lawn.

 

I WANT TO SHARE THIS. But it’s not much of an offering to urban people who have baths and toilets and kitchens when I say I can offer a tent or a rat-infested shed. A wash under the hose.

 

A lovely prospect

 

But the prospect of putting a bouquet of fresh flowers in a vase in the guest bedroom, hanging ironed curtains on the new screened louvered windows, setting out a few good books on the bedside table, a candle, incense”¦ that is such a delightful imagining.

 

It brings a great yearning to my heart. Many dear friends have visited us in our chaotic circumstances.

 

We’ve trudged them around the muddy building site, stumbling over piles of timber and peering into unfinished rooms, gesturing where rooms could be, how the roof could go”¦

 

“I couldn’t live like this.”

 

One, appalled, could only say, “I couldn’t live like this.” Others have hugged us and offered all means of encouragement. Very great encouragement. Everyone marvels at the beauty of the place.

 

Tonight I was sharing my enthusiasm for the guest bedroom by phone with Leonie, twelve thousand miles away.

 

Maybe she’ll come to visit after Christmas. We might have the box gutter sorted out by then. I reassured her that her room is rat- and python-proof, fully mossie-proof.

 

It has a great view of the escarpment.

 

Great ventilation.

 

A private verandah. It’s very quiet. We even plan to have key locks on the guest bedroom doors so that guests can leave valuables and not be worried by our relaxed rural attitude to security.

 

So, one more sleep to an almost-ready guest bedroom. One more step toward the hospitality I dream of.

 

Feels like Christmas Eve.

 

Sad postscript the next day: The windows were too big for the spaces. It was the Builders Picinc Day in NSW (a holiday I had not heard of!) so could not sort it out.

 

Much disappointment. (Watch this space”¦)

 

A day later: Ordered new windows. We’d apparently violated some window-measuring protocol. Supposed to call it “make size” to include the window reveals (whatever that means”¦)

 

Our fault.

 

But they fit in the living room. Still, it’s not the same.

 

Ken did a great job of brushcutting instead”¦

 

Sept. 7th, 2009: The windows are in. At last! It’s gorgeous. It’s ready for guests. Cosy and homey. Not exactly “finished” but filled with love.

 

March 2010: The exterior walls are insulated and clad, two new windows added above the original ones, an internal screen door to allow for more cross-ventilation and we’ve had our first proper guest.

 

Now that we can offer the convenience of a beautiful composting toilet next door, it’s even more inviting.

 

Come to visit!

The Guest Bedroom March 2010

 

 

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